How to Create an Inventory Form
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Inventory forms are a key component for day-to-day inventory tracking. After all, you need a standard way to track what you have in stock and what those specific items are. For most businesses, you will likely have an inventory form already in place. If you don’t, read on to learn why you need an inventory form and where you can see samples and get free templates.
What’s the best way to set up an inventory form? How do you know you’re tracking the right info? Here you’ll find in-depth information on inventory tracking forms and provide tips on properly designing the form.
What is an inventory form?
An inventory form shows what inventory you have in stock, a description, a location, a stock level, and a SKU.
Why is inventory tracking/management important?
Any business that sells physical goods uses some form of inventory tracking including retailers, wholesalers, and even manufacturers. This can range from free tools to very expensive systems.
All sellers need inventory tracking to know where their products are and when shipments will arrive. It’s also important in managing inventory turnover, which measures the amount of times inventory is sold then replaced in a designated time period.
Want to learn more about why inventory tracking is so important? Read our handy inventory tracking guide.
Project future demand
It’s important to know how much inventory you’ll need in the future. There are costs associated with understocking and overstocking your inventory. With your inventory form, you’ll be able to analyse how inventory is moving, so you’ll know what to prioritise when creating more products.
With understocked inventory, you won’t be able to provide what your customers want and have to give them out of stock notifications when trying to fulfil their order.
With overstocked inventory, you’ll have to pay for more storage/warehousing space, which can cut into your profits if your products aren’t selling well.
Get automated tracking
If you’re using an electronic system to track your inventory, you can rely on data that’s updated in real time, including each touch point as inventory moves — from received to stowed to picked to shipped. You also stay updated on which SKUs are selling quickly and even automated reminders for when it’s time to replenish.
How to create an inventory form
If you’re not using an electronic system to manage inventory, you can create a simple spreadsheet (although it won’t be automated or updated in real time but can be a good printout or snapshot of one point in time).
Creating an inventory form begins with a template. Using a template for your inventory tracking will save you a lot of time as you will work off of a standard form. The best part? It only takes three steps.
Step 1: Download ShipBob’s free inventory form template
Instead of creating your own inventory form from scratch, we put together a couple free inventory form templates, which you can modify to suit your needs.
Step 2: Populate with your data
Once you have the inventory form, print it (or create a copy you’re updating on a mobile device) and begin counting your inventory to fill in the data. This can be a manual process, but can be automated as well.
Step 3: Send to 3PL or warehouse
Once you have the inventory data, upload it to your inventory system to update the inventory counts.
Alternate method: Let a 3PL manage inventory
If you’re working with a 3PL, they will count your inventory for you and provide updates on items that are running low. They will also notify you of issues related to your inventory. There are many benefits to working with a 3PL to manage your inventory. Learn how to work with a 3PL and how it can benefit you.
Sample inventory forms
Want to see some inventory form samples? In the screenshots below, you can see examples of what an inventory form looks like. Further below, we have links to inventory form templates for you to download.
Inventory form template
There are a lot of reasons to use templates. Not only do they make things easier for you, they can also help your team work off a standard system, instead of allowing for a free for all where anyone can count inventory however they want to.
To make things easier for you, the ShipBob team has created free inventory form templates available below (the forms cover the same information, but in different layouts):
A properly constructed inventory form will go a long way for your ecommerce business — especially if you don’t have the resources to automate inventory tracking.
If your business doesn’t have the resources to handle this or wants an easier solution to inventory tracking, talk to the ShipBob team and learn how you can eliminate doing physical inventory checks when you have inventory in a ShipBob warehouse.
With ShipBob, you can track, manage, and account for your inventory right from your computer, and stay up-to-date on inventory counts at the SKU level by location.
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